Gimme Some Truth … I Think: What to do when the Bible frustrates you
Ryan Waller (email)
In yesterday’s sermon I struggled openly about the fact that I am not particularly fond of the parable of The Ten Bridesmaids. And I asked that we be honest about the fact that we don’t always like what we find in the pages of Scripture.
Which is OK.
It’s no sin to find yourself frustrated by the Bible. The trouble comes when we allow that frustration to stifle our reading of it. The sin comes, I think, when we blind ourselves to the parts we don’t wish to see.
Which I am more than guilty of doing.
When we shield our hearts and minds from the stickier passages of Scripture, we would be wise to remind ourselves that the Bible’s job is not to make us feel good but rather to lead us to God and to fill us with truth.
And sometimes that truth is hard to hear.
But, let’s get real; it’s the truth we long to hear.
So here’s the thing about truth: it doesn’t come abridged.
If we desire to live authentic lives, grounded in truth and honesty, then we must be ready to live with eyes wide open.
It’s easy to turn a blind eye to certain truths of the Bible and focus only upon that which consoles and inspires.
Just like it’s easy to close our eyes when life gets scary. We pretend our spouse isn’t really treating us that poorly. We pretend our dependence on that thing isn’t so deep rooted—we can stop any time. We pretend we don’t actually need to quiet our hearts and minds to pray—there is simply too much work to do.
We pretend. We pretend. We pretend.
But the wisest and healthiest people I know are those who don’t pretend. These are folks who expose themselves to difficult and confusing realities because what they want, even more than comfort, is truth.
I don’t always want to hear what the Bible has to say. Just like I don’t always want to face up to what is actually happening in my life.
But the good news is that if we’re willing to open our eyes and see all that God has for us, then the truth — no matter how painful — will do something pretending can never do.
It will set us free.